Thursday, April 24, 2014

Home Depot Heroics

A few weeks ago, I discovered that the outdoor garage remote was nonfunctional. On my morning walks, I just took the extra garage remote with me on my walk to avoid having to fix it. That worked fine, for me. We have my mom coming down from Vegas to stay with us for a few days and so I'd know she'd want access. But I'm a procrastinator at heart, so I delayed fixing the garage remote.

Finally, last night, I successfully went to Home Depot on my way home and purchased only the item I was looking for (and nothing else - people that know me know that's majorly a BIG DEAL). I took this item home and installed it onto my home that very evening (Did not procrastinate with a home improvement project - people that know me know that's majorly a BIG DEAL). This never happens at my house. Like, literally, never.

And all it took was a flashlight, and a screwdriver. I had bought the same model of device as the one I was taking down so I didn't even have to redo the masonry anchors. I got it up and installed within 20 minutes. I was astounded.

I went into the house and told me wife how impressive I was. She was adequately impressed with my home improvements. I did not go into the house to wake up the kids to tell them how I impressive I was but I could tell this morning at breakfast, that they were impressed. They gave me fist bumps and high fives. Giving two year olds fist bumps and high fives are the best.

So I was marvelling about that on the drive in this morning, and thought to myself, "Self, this would be a good quick story to post."

And it was so, but as I've mostly relegated myself to updating Facebook and Instagram, I thought that this wasn't an effective story for those but one better suited to the long rambling format of this here blog. So after two years of absence, your first story from this blog is a quick story about going to a store and buying something.

I hope to continue blogging and I'll probably get around to refreshing the look of the blog. In the last two years, I have:

  • purchased a new car and sold the Thunderchicken to my brother. He has solemnly sworn to keep calling it the Thunderchicken. But he also calls it the Dirty C and I don't quite get it but that's OK, he's MyBrother(TM)!
  • The Twincredibles have aged approximately two years in that timeframe. This would make them 2.5 years old which does not make them a combined 5 year old. They are amazing and wonderful and difficult and crazy and many many adjectives that are both polite and sometimes impolite. 
  • The new car's official name is Stormhawk. It is Stormhawk because I kind of liked the combination of a weather-event & fowl. So the next car name became Storm Hawk. Storm because it's a dark gray metallic (like a Thunderstorm cloud).
  • lost almost 20 lbs on WeightWatchers. I need to lose weight because I have ballooned almost a 100 lbs since my wife and I started dating and that's not healthy. I have also been walking a lot. I'm up to almost 100 miles walked so far and because I'm still pretty big, it takes me a while to walk a mile (about 15 to 18 minutes per mile). This is all OK because it's a long road and the journey is half the fun. 
  • I plan to run a half-marathon in January 2015. I would like to be able to actually run it but I'd be okay too if I can do a fast walk. I plan to participate in the P.F. Chang's Rock'n'Roll Half-Marathon in Phoenix. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Twincredibles: they don't crawl the same way.

For the last few weeks or so, we have been noticing an uptick in the proficiency of baby locomotion. First it was Cowboy urging himself forward with kind of a frog-hopping kind of thing. Then it was Tiger with a kind of fierce rolling over and over and around to get places. Now, Tiger has perfected the soldier crawl (Grandma calls it an "elbow crawl").

Last night, I decided I needed to capture this on video. I swear, it's like each baby is it's own individual and does what it wants. Trippy, right?

I uploaded two videos (one each) of the boys demonstrating their crawls yesterday (but didn't share it cuz I'm selfish and/or lazy). Later that night, I see that Grandma posted two different videos of the same thing to Facebook.

Deciding that I better not let Grandma steal all the thunder, that I had better put my videos up on the blog: I present, for your viewing pleasure, my videos of Cowboy and then Tiger crawling in their unique styles.



That's all I have for today but for 45 seconds of viewing, you can change your life forever. Or just watch cute kids crawling. Whatever.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

That one time he posted at midnight.

It's been entirely too long since you've gotten a blog from me, period.  But I don't think I've ever done a post this late in the evening before. Even when Joy was pregnant, I was able to sleep until 4 AM before whatever it was woke me up. Now, I have at least two more things that wake me up.

You know...THESE guys:

Right now, I have Cowboy on the floor next to me. He woke up crying at 11:30. I tried to calm him down in the recliner but no dice. I try putting him back in the crib with a pacifier and again no dice. He's not tired right now so I have him laying on the man cave floor.

About 5 minutes ago, he let's fly with an epic burp. In the context of a mostly dark room with only the faint glow of the monitor before more, it was almost other-worldly.

"That's my boy" was the first natural thought.

This is the first time this has happened  in a while. The boys have become very good as of late with sleeping from 7:30 PM to 7:00 AM with nary a peep.

In other news, events of the 2nd Movements are closely monitored since they happen fairly infrequently. One of my friends had posted to Facebook that she was learning about "baby poop" so I thought to chime in with some of my observations.  The she mentioned that her first child was a clockwork regular pooper. She said her child pooped three times a day at 4 hour intervals for over a year as an infant. I could not believe it. I mean, you live with what you know because you don't know any better, but 3 poops a day for over a year?!? I was astounded. Still kind of am, I guess, since I dedicated a whole paragraph to another person's baby poop story.

But please note, that does not mean I want to hear MORE baby poop  stories. I get enough quips from people just taking them through the mall. Since I'm now Mr. Twincredible, I like to see what people say to me when I walk past them. Because it's twin baby boys, I often get approached (Ladies, back off, I'm taken!). Most people comment on how much work it looks like it is or how cute they are (much rarely it is stated as to how cute I am).  I won't forget what happened as I was exiting Arrowhead Mall a couple of months ago, and a mid-40s woman walks up to me and says, "Wow, you got the easy ones."

I kinda look at her incredulously and she follows up with,"Yeah, I have two sets (of twins). Boys are easier."

I stood there for a half second while I processed that. So far, that stands as the "top oneupmanship" comment that I've heard. I'm not sure oneupmanship is a real word but at 12:05 AM on Wednesday, I don't much care.

OK, now onto the pictures and hopefully I can get Cowboy back the heck to sleep.

Tiger chews on the strap for his high chair. He's got four teeth now.

Cowboy shows off his big blue eyes.

Cowboy splashes in the water in mid-June. The boys...they love the water.

Tiger shows off his winning look in the pool.

Cowboy splashes near Mommy.

Tiger might be getting wore out.

Just teasing!

Lately my glasses and my beard are attractants to babies' hands.

I get everybody's faces headed the right direction and a cute shot is captured.
Well, I think that's enough from the desk of Mr. Twincredible.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Twincredibles hit the pool!

So a couple of weeks ago, we finally took the plunge and put the kids in the pool.

We've lived in this house since September 2007, and in that time, I can count on my two hands how many times we've used the pool. However, if I contrast that with amount of time I've spent maintaining the pool then it gets ridiculous. I have probably spent on average 30 minutes once a week maintaining the pool.

But we have a pool, we have babies, and we were going to put them in the pool. We got the boys in their swimsuits, got them to wear their sunglasses and grabbed some floaties (which are toys, not life-saving devices kiddos, FYI). We mobilized the towels and sunblock and headed outside.

Now, some of you are familiar with the weather here in Arizona. Well, a few weeks ago, it was above 100 degrees with no humidity. Well, our pool and deck stays in the sun for most of the day, so that supposed "cool deck" was very hot so we wore our flip flops to the edge of the pool.

I went in the water first and then Joy handed me a child. She then stepped in with the other. We're playing around with them and their kicking and stuff and Joy says,"You really should go get your camera".

I think that's a brilliant idea so I put Cowboy in a floatie and then put Tiger in a floatie and Joy retains possession. I quickly towel off and run in a grab my small point-and-shoot and a Ziploc bag. I put the camera in the Ziploc and head outside.

I snapped away with the camera in the bag and without the bag.

Basically, taking those kids into the pool for the first time made all the time and money spent to keep the pool in good condition seem like the best investment ever.

We will be adding a pool fence to the pool in the next couple of weeks and we'll have a water safety program but I'm sure there's always more to be done in the name of safety. We'll just have to smart about it and stuff.

OK, so onto the pictures:

Cowboy chillaxes properly in the pool 

Mom and her boys.

Tiger is pretty amazed, like, "Dude!"

Tiger splashes in his floatie. They kicked and swatted at all the water.

Tiger looks over at Mom and Cowboy

Picture from inside the Ziploc bag as Tiger makes a look and Mom looks on.

Sealing the ziploc, I have a submersible digital camera. It's very blue down under the water.

Cowboy laughs at Daddy

Daddy hangs on to Cowboy as he starts to kick away.

Legs in motion.

Legs churning.

Cowboy is getting tired and lays back.
 The following week, we went into the pool again.
Cowboy looks around.

Tiger works on his "Ladies" look.

Having fun, Cowboy splashes and kicks

Both boys heads are aligned in the same direction, I think this was when Joy was doing her firedancing dance.

I pose with my boys!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dances with Twincredibles

Yesterday, I worked from home in the morning and then took care of the boys in the afternoon. MIL fixed Pot Roast for us (MIL, FIL, and me) for lunch. It was delightful and then I kicked them out.

Earlier in the morning, I had to get some work done on the Thunderchicken (apparently, periodically, brakes need to be replaced).

I also got the yearly A/C check done on our home's HVAC units. Finally, I also worked on the pool, getting it ready for the first family dip. It should be delightful.

After all that and lunch, the boys were awake and since they are the Twincredibles, they were ready to party. I pulled out the camera and put the 50 MM fixed lens on the camera and started

Tiger is still rolling. Here, he is near the patio door.

Even closer. 

Tiger playing in the jumperoo. He's just barely containing himself.

Cowboy is just not sure. He's playing but I think he was tired.

Yeah, probably tired.

Maybe not. He liked spinning the thing his hand is on. Yeah, I speak the English done real good.

There's a smile.
For this final picture, I need to set the situation. Joy had already gone to bed and so I was playing on the computer and went to look in on the boys while they slept. I didn't turn on any lights but I could tell that Tiger was sleeping funny. I ran back to the table to grab my camera, turn it and the bounce flash on, and then approached the crib. Since it's the 50 MM lens, I had to be sufficiently far enough away to get the picture. I slowly depressed the shutter to autofocus the lens, and I had to do that a couple times before it put the asleep Tiger in proper focus (rather than say the giraffe). Finally I fully pressed the shutter and the flash popped off the ceiling and I got this image of Tiger sleeping with his head to the right and his entire rest of his body to the left. It might not look comfortable to you or I but he was snoring soundly.
This picture is going to come in handy, I think.
I wanted to get a picture of Cowboy too but apparently the flash startled him a little and so I didn't think I could get him "asleep".


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Twincredibles - Seven Months Old

The Twincredibles are 7 months old. That's freaking incredible. 

They went from this...
A few days old
 To this:
Seven months old
It's been really incredible. They have not yet started crawling yet but they are really close. 

As you can tell from the last entry, they are eating "solid" foods. So far, we haven't had any epic pictures of food on their face but that doesn't mean that their father doesn't mess with them.

I was feeding Tiger one day (I think it was avocado) and he wasn't eating with gusto. So I took the spoon and put the concave part (with the avocado) on his nose. He had a wonderful spoon shaped glop of food on his nose. It was glorious and I couldn't stop laughing. 

As I said, they aren't crawling yet but that doesn't mean they don't get into trouble. 

The other day, I had the boys on the living room rug (where the play gyms are). Tiger was in a bouncer (and thus couldn't move very far) and Cowboy was on the playgym. I noticed that he had rolled himself so that he was almost completely under the coffee table. Another time in the living room, Tiger nearly got himself stuck under the TV armoire. 

I don't really know what to do when they can really crawl. 

The baby corral can only do so much:
100 SF of rolling around space, and where is Tiger? Right on top of Cowboy, of course.

See, this is actually a complete corral but we were using other furniture to complete the corral in this picture.
They doesn't stop them from being completely adorable. Here's the boys giving the "Hello, Ladies" look to the camera:
Tiger smiles nice and big with a subtle pointing of the finger at the camera. 

Cowboy's all like, "Yeah, I know I'm cute."

Cowboy looks at Tiger seating in the bumbo.

Tiger's amazed while Cowboy wonders about Tiger's cowlick.
Well, I think that is all for now.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Eating Sweet Peas...not a favorite

The last week or so we have been feeding the boys green sweet peas. And it's literally been hit or miss.

Tiger is not overjoyed with the peas (lest we forget the sweet potatoes) but he'll eat them just fine.

Cowboy, on the other hand, gags on them. He does not enjoy them at all.
So here's the list of the foods we've tried and their reactions. I'm providing this list so you know what to buy the kids for Star Wars Day (May the in May the Fourth be with you):

  • Sweet Potatoes (Do I really need to reiterate this?) - Loved them
  • Rice Cereal w/Formula - indifferent but will eat it.
  • Butternut Squash - Not as great as sweet potatoes but enjoyed them.
  • Green Sweet Peas - sometimes one or both will eat them but most nights, Cowboy's reaction is typical.
From what Joy read, we'll have to try this foods again later because their tastes and palates change (and then they get teeth too). So nothing is confirmed. But gosh, Cowboy's reaction is priceless: